Love Boat Captain

Sometimes I like to sit where I normally walk. I don’t know why but i enjoy the fresh perspective. Currently I’m sitting in my underwear, with a shirt on in the middle of my upstairs hallway. You notice things that I don’t normally notice and it seems to be quieter down here (it could be because my house is empty right now).

Firstly let me say that I doubt I will be updating this blog as much as I have been. But this blogging thing is new to me and I find myself approaching everything with philosophical eyes in order for me to have something to blog. I suspect most of the things I see aren’t as exciting as I think.

Anyway, so my last blog received many, many comments on the facebook note it was originally in. FYI, this is the first blog to be exclusive to wordpress. I found the perspectives interesting that people brought and felt it necessary to go into more detail about whether or not we need to be changed or authentic. This is not the blog for that. I will address it again, I think…Well I hope.

The comment that has really gotten me though was one of the last ones by my Auntie. This is a lady that I love, respect and admire. It could be because we are very similar, however I believe it’s because she is, and has always been amazing and LOVING to me. She is a cancer survivor, and has faced many trials. I suspect they (her husband and family) have gone through times in their lives where they weren’t sure what was next. However, she never appeared to give up her faith! If she did, I don’t blame her, but I gotta say she never showed the chink in her armor. She, as I have said is an amazing woman, and someone I love very much. She is also very wise.

Her comment on my last blog was “I think we complicate Christianity…love God, love others above yourself. When we do that…the rest works itself out!” My brain went on overdrive as I read that. I know I know. It’s simple, and even Jesus said that these two things are the most important commandments and principles. Mark 12:27-28.

If they are so simple why can’t we do it? Imagine if everything we did was out of love? There would be no war, no sin, no hurt, no divorce and the list could literally go on and on. So, after thinking about this and reflecting on some of the great songs by the Beatles and Pearl Jam I found myself wondering what it is inside of us that can’t accept, and or practice the simplicity of our faith. Why do we get wrapped up in the literal vs. parablic (not a word) interpretations of the bible. Why do we care (focus is probably a better word) on the different levels of the Holy Spirit, manifestations and other things.

Imagine going to a church where all they focused on was loving each other and God. Imagine a sermon that every week challenged you to love even more then you thought possible. I bet we wouldn’t have a lack of volunteers. I bet our budgets would always be met. I bet the politics would go to the way side and our Pastors could run the church as God has lead them. There would be no hidden agendas, or attitudes and opinions. There would be true community! And we could finally do away with denominations and the devisive things we have created because ours is better or more right. In reflecting as I write I think Jesus probably had it the rightest (also not a word), don’t you? But, we can’t seem to accept that simplicity.

It’s a strange thing us humans do. Does it come out of selfishness? For example, have you ever heard of a friend or relative doing something that you wouldn’t have done? I have, and the first thing I do is say “Why would they do that? They should have planned better? I would never do that!” Why do I care? If they want to go into debt, or if they want to adopt twins what difference does it make, the question should be how can I love and support them! And do you know the reason the Apostolic church and the Pentecostal church split to become their own denominations? Man, the reason doesn’t matter, especially if you are be obeying Christ’s commandments because we’d go to Heaven anyway. Once saved always saved vs. the backsliders just doesn’t have any weight if we were doing faith right.

Love, man it’s a simple concept but so freakin hard. I think I’m going to try and make my faith simple again. My first objective is to read only the gospels for lent. I think, and hope that I can find everything I need to live as Christ wanted me to in there.

So does the world want to see us changed, or authentic… You will see what I think soon but honestly, I think people just wants to be loved. In my experience loving people can really save you a lot of pain. As I’ve alluded, I’m very close to being offensive to everyone. I’ve seen people do things not even close to the level of ridiculousness that I have done and seen a level of judgment bestowed upon them that I did not receive. I never understood it. Is it because they don’t expect more from me? I doubt it. I think it’s because I love them, and the relationship I have with them allows for grace. See, that’s the beauty of it. You love, and they love you back.

You want an opportunity to share your faith. Love. If you want to go to Heaven. Love.

I look forward to the next blog as we go into some detail about changed vs. authentic, but until then let’s love better then we’ve ever loved. In the words of Eddie Vedder. “Love Boat Captain take the reigns, steer us towards the clear. I know it’s already been sung. Can’t be said enough. All you need is love.”

So thanks Auntie for reminding us that all we need is Love.

Let’s be a gracious to others as we are to ourselves. Cheers friends. Go and love someone!

e

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11 thoughts on “Love Boat Captain

  1. I was also impressed with your Aunt’s comment. That is really the way it should be. Things would be so much better, and there would no longer need to be arguments over doctrine and what not. Christians are way too often known as hypocrites, or as judgmental, or holier than thou. If we embraced and did exactly what Jesus told us to do, love, then we wouldn’t ever been known for those stereotypes.

    I have learned a lot from your Dad, and from your recent blogs. So I am guessing smart runs in your family. Thanks to your aunt for clearing things up, and making it simple as it should be!

  2. ha ha. I so suck at keeping things simple.

    Even while agreeing that love is the basis of Christianity, or should be (I think the church really really sucks at it, and has had a long history of sucking at it) I still think the other things deserve thought (I mean, otherwise the Bible could just get thrown out, why read the other stuff??) that thought just needs to be kept in the right place – that we don’t get too caught up in it, or too distracted from the point.

    Have you ever heard the song Moving Mountains by Thrice? If not, check it out, I think you’d like it.

    Though, I do want to ask, where do you think accountability falls into your “If they want to go into debt, or if they want to adopt twins what difference does it make, the question should be how can I love and support them!”

    It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for years, and am just curious about your take on it.

    • Who are they accountable to? Me or God? If they ask I can give advice but at the end of the day my job is to love.

      Ya, I agree completely. I was just thinking about how the bible really could have ended with Acts. But because we have this self centered nature the rest of the bible try’s to fix what people within years polluted. Love God and your neighbour. But we can’t control churches, finances or get attention by doing that can we.

      The point is not that it is possible, but that it is the core and should be our main effort. I mean look from the beginning. We had everything but needed more. That freakin apple (if that was what it was :)). Love, and when others don’t love and try to ruin what we believe and love, love. When people are passionless, love them and be passionate about loving God.

      It might not be easy to make our faith simple for others, but it can be simple to try for ourselves. If we measure everything out of love I’m sure we won’t screw up.

  3. Love is important. I think you hit the proverbial “nail on the head” when you mention that people want to be loved. That is a void that many are searching to fill. However, Jesus told us to “love your neighbour AS yourself,” not before yourself. There is a world of difference. How much do you love yourself? Can you really love your neighbour if you do not love yourself? If you see yourself as a failurs, can you accept someone else? Honestly? God is love. Maybe that is the real reason we need a relationship with Him, to complete ourselves and fill the void? Really knowing you are loved can change a person. Do you know that you are loved? To what extent?

    • Before you have a child most people are aware that their parents love them, then once they have a child, they realize how deep that love really goes. All at once that love that we have recieved becomes more real. (Or in certain sad cases, a void of that love becomes more recognized.) We can also use this new love for our child as a measure of how much our Heavenly Father loves us. The fact that God loves me even more than I love my husband and childen absolutely baffles me. How is that even possible? I don’t know, but I am so glad that He does.

      Not everyone will have a child in order to learn this sort of lesson, but it doesn’t mean that we still can’t give love away. The more love we give, the more you will learn about love, and feel God’s love. His love won’t grow for you because of this, but you will be more open to His love, and in turn the recognition becomes greater.

      You argue how can we love others without knowing we ourselves are loved. Again I would turn to the example of children. I love my children to every depth of my being, and in my life, I have had many moments of doubting other’s love for me. This in no way has hindered me from loving my kids. Allowing the lack of other’s love to hinder your ability to love others, I believe, is more of an issue with bitterness than love itself.

      We are not only called to love others as we love ourselves, we are also called to serve. Sometimes serving is hard, and will bring up emotions that we don’t want to feel, which will make loving all the harder. Jesus prayed that God would take the cup from Him. He didn’t want to feel the pain of crucifixtion, but out of love and servanthood He did it anyway. No one said Christianity would be easy. But when things get hard, we can turn to HIM, and He will ease our burden, for His yoke is light.

  4. It’s amazing how we as the Church/as Christians can look at the simple principals of faith and try to make them more complex and less attainable for the world. Jesus truly gave us one command in which if we followed we would have no problem with anything else: Love.

    You see it everywhere… people love the word love. They love songs about it, movies about it, decor that screams it. Yet, in our loving “love” culture we’ve lost a lot of what it means to actually love.

    Love is simple. We have a simple calling, to love. The less simple part is doing it in such a self-pleasing world. Yet, isn’t that what love is all about? Pushing ourselves aside for the sake of others.

  5. Selflessly loving others is a natural response to recognizing, understanding and accepting the immense love God has for us.

    With Christ as our example, we are to love others…even when it’s not easy. (And OFTEN it is not!) Jesus went to the cross for our freedom…He put us ahead of His own comfort. NOW THAT IS LOVE! He did it because He loved and trusted His Father and because He saw us worthy of His love. He loved God and loved us before Himself.

    Simplified…”Love God, love other before yourself. When we do that…the rest will work itself out!”

  6. I guess I’ve lived this deeper. I was not talking about putting someone else ahead of my own comfort, I’d done that for years, sometimes even putting others needs before my own to the extent that my health failed for lack of rest. And those that I was loving did not seem to feel the great extent of my love. I think what showed Christ’s love for us is His obedience to God, and as we obey God in our relationships they will also feel His love by our obedience. We are admonished to “love your neighbour as yourself”. Why change His words? Did Jesus not know what He was saying?

  7. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary explains Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:39 like this…”To love our neighbour as ourselves, is the second great commandment. There is a self-love which is corrupt, and the root of the greatest sins, and it must be put off and mortified; but there is a self-love which is the rule of the greatest duty: we must have a due concern for the welfare of our own souls and bodies. And we must love our neighbour as truly and sincerely as we love ourselves; in many cases we must deny ourselves for the good of others.” I believe “AS” and “BEFORE” both encompass Jesus’ second greatest command.

  8. So we need to have due concern for both ourselves and our neighbour. I think what needs clarifying is the deny ourselves part. What is it that we are to deny ourselves? I question Matthew Henry’s use of the word love or “self-love” because the self-love he describes as corrupt is not really love as described in 1 Cor. 13. I think the meaning of the word love has been corrupted in common usage.

  9. Hey Evan, long time, no see. I stumbled upon your facebook note, and then found the link to this website. I just wanted to thank you for being so honest (especially the whole 1 year without God thing). I have seriously questioned my faith the past few months (and stil am?) and am just trying to figure out what Christianity is all about. I think I can accept the love part, it’s everything that comes after it. And I understand what you mean when you said, “it not like, come on sin,” I’m just going to live however I want. For me, it’s just a questioning of what God actually means to me, in my life, and in relation to other people. Another thing that I think goes with our struggle to love, and be loved, is our uncanny ability to judge. I often have a hard time loving people after they’ve hurt me because I’m too busy judging them. We ALWAYS want to put people in boxes, or exclude them because they act differently, or act weird or whatever. I think loving people can exclude a lot of pain, but I guess we have to remember that it can include pain too…it might actually be harder than cutting ourselves off after we are hurt or wronged, because we leave ourselves vulnerable. I suppose that’s what Jesus did. He left himself vulnerable. And he didn’t draw away or close himself off after he was hurt. That’s pretty hard for us to do. However, I do see that as a catalyst to change the world. I think you have some good thoughts. Keep writing, I look forward to more!

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